Recent Russian statements about the annexation of Ukraine's Kherson Oblast to Russia are completely fantastical, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in a video address on May 11.
"Those marginal figures whom the Russian state has found as collaborators are making statements of cosmic scale and cosmic stupidity," he said, excoriating Ukrainian officials who have betrayed their oath to country and pledged their service to Russia.
Zelensky reaffirmed that the region will be liberated from Russian invaders, and that the Russians will have “no chance” to annex the oblast.
Mykhailo Podolyak, an advisor to the chief-of-staff of the Office of the President of Ukraine, told Radio NV on May 7 that as many Russian servicemen would be killed as needed to liberate Kherson Oblast.
The southern Ukrainian city of Kherson, and the surrounding oblast, have been occupied since nearly the beginning of the full-scale invasion of Ukraine in late February. Kherson Oblast sits directly north of the occupied Crimean peninsula, which occupying Russian forces have heavy militarized over the past eight years.